Gass Weber Mullins prides itself on creating a culture that emphasizes new ways to help clients; encourages its attorneys to take on larger firms; and promotes efficiency to keep costs low, according to name partner Ralph Weber. Since opening its doors on February 1, 2004, Gass Weber has racked up impressive wins, including victories in 2012 related to malpractice, false advertising and food safety.

"We’ve accomplished a lot in a short period of time," Weber said.

Among the 13-attorney Milwaukee boutique’s successes last year was a $50 million verdict in Wisconsin state court for Aqua Finance Inc. against the consumer financing company’s accountant, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause. Aqua claimed that Baker Tilly, represented by Williams Montgomery & John, suppressed accounting errors for more than a year and dropped the company as a client instead of fixing the problem.

The company was "on the ropes" before Gass Weber came to its aid, said Robert Chadwell, Aqua’s president and chief executive officer. "Not only did our story get told, but justice was done," Chadwell said. Weber and Gass Weber partner Amelia McCarthy took the lead on the case.

Gass Weber secured an injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin against Douglas Dynamics LLC, a Milwaukee snow-removal and ice-control equipment manufacturer. Client Northern Star Industries Inc., a Douglas competitor in Iron Mountain, Mich., alleged that the company made false and misleading advertising claims that Northern Star’s plows would cause injuries. Foley & Lardner, an NLJ 350 firm with 874 lawyers, represented Douglas Dynamics.

"We go toe to toe with the biggest firms and get great results," said Weber, who worked on the case with McCarthy.

Gass Weber won a major victory in food-safety litigation last year, too. The firm successfully defended Ashville, N.Y.-based ground beef processor Fairbank Farms Inc. in the U.S. District Court for Maine and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in an E. coli contamination liability case. Gass Weber persuaded the courts that liability attached to its supplier, Greater Omaha Packing Co. Inc. For Greater Omaha, the Gloor Law Group served as trial counsel and Morrison Mahoney as appellate counsel.

Weber, who represented Fairbank Farms with partner Shawn Stevens, said his firm has developed a "tremendous" expertise in food-safety law. "We expect that to continue to grow," he said.

TRIAL TIPS
We’re always looking for new ways to deliver better results for our clients. The firm also uses an upside-down pyramid, with more senior lawyers working on matters than junior lawyers.
— Ralph Weber, Gass Weber Mullins